Counting our Blessings

WE ARE SO LUCKY TO STILL HAVE MICAH WITH US TODAY. I can't impress that fact enough, I feel it with everything inside of me. I am a wife and mother who is everyday, every hour, every MINUTE counting her blessings, being constantly reminded how quickly life can completely change, those we love taken away from us, the life we live and love- gone forever. 

Micah and my son, Levi, truly had Angels looking over them on Sunday, June 5, when they got into a head-on collision with a semi tanker truck. We had been working against a particularly stressful deadline, clearing out Micah's mother's home, and let's just say, Thank God Levi walked away with only a small red mark from the seat belt, a little sore the next day (THANK GOD); and Thank God for the amazing surgeons, doctors and nurses in ER trauma, in the ICU, and in neurosurgery at St. Joseph's medical center who worked diligently to save Micah's life, plus of course the EMT's that cared for Micah as he was transported there. For three terrifying days they kept Micah in a medically-induced coma, as they sewed up a severely lacerated spleen, replaced 2 units of lost blood, and finally, ensured that (despite what initial imaging had them convinced of) a sure fracture in two vertebrae in his neck, were not, in fact, fractured at all. All the while, he was there with us in those hospital rooms, even when he was hooked up to a million machines, stuck in a deep, chemically-induced incapacitated state of existence, hurting and afraid but persistently, quietly, fighting like hell, never giving up. I still get choked up just thinking about it, how much worse it could have been, how relieved and grateful I am that it wasn't. My heart is swollen, completely full of love for my two boys, and my gratitude and appreciation for them both has been renewed and expanded indefinitely. All I know is, Angels were watching over and protecting the two people I love most in this world on that day, and I couldn't possibly be more humbled, grateful, and in awe of the miracle of how well they were protected. 

So this late spring and summer, which is normally our busiest time of year, where we try to fit in as many projects as possible, and when demand for our services and products are in high gear, we'll be taking it a little easy... focusing on filling orders for our clients, finishing up this nightmare of a move that has been seemingly never-ending, and learning how to not spread ourselves too thin! Burning the candles at both ends can only go for so long... and we were aggressively reminded of how truly terrifying and tragic the consequences could be. Needless to say, slowing down and taking care of ourselves better are two major things that are going to take major precedence in our lives from now on! 

Micah and I, just beyond happy to be with each other, in his hospital bed.

Micah's massive scar with staples still in, on the day he came home from the hospital, just two days after leaving the ICU, six days after the accident. 

Claiming Victory over the incredible destruction, just 8 days after the accident, while checking the truck at the impound lot. 

Micah, resting carefully in our temporary (necessary) digs, a place where he can actually physically access the bed, being completely restricted from any movement that engages his core whatsoever, or from lifting more than 10 lbs for 8+ weeks. Asleep next to him- our newest addition, Alice the kitten, a sweet and playful little pitter-pat, a bundle of fluffy joy (and kitty poo!). 

Micah and I pictured with Rachel, above, a true friend and lifesaver, helping us keep up with business! We are so grateful for her, and for all of our family and friends who have been there for us! Below: true and unconditional love, truly refreshed and with a new, ecstatic life-force <3.

So what about the BARNS?

We're really excited to be delivering our first full-barn kit (deconstruct, sort, label & rebuild somewhere else!) in the next few weeks! Its an 18x20 single room, gable roof garage barn that we deconstructed in Snohomish this spring, for which we are making two new, custom front sliding barn doors with transom windows (one is to be framed in place), to replace the two original barn doors that the owners decided to keep, which we are also restoring for them. This is an exciting project all around because the *NEW* barn owners/buyers are ecstatic to find just what they've been looking for, and we are SO excited to be executing our first full barn deconstruction-to-reconstruct project! 

The original, 18' wide x 20' long 1916-built garage barn, located in Snohomish, WA. Original barn doors in the front are double-bypass, and it was standing on piers, with a 2x6 joists-on 4x6 beams floor, with beautiful, old-growth douglas fir 2x12 floor boards. 

The least fun part: the part that doesn't get saved! Stripping off the shingles. New build will use metal roofing sheets, but will still utilize reclaimed barn wood skip-sheathing/purlins. 

Carefully removing every face nail from each siding board, trying to keep each 106-year old weathered board intact- this is not an easy feat! Luckily we have matching inventory to supplement the new build's "kit" with! We kept all materials from each wall separate and labeled, and took photos of every step of the deconstruction process, to demonstrate how to frame the barn in the new build! I also drew up a complete set of framing plans for the new owners/buyers to reference.

Incredibly, the studs that framed this amazing barn were simply TOE-NAILED into the floorboards, at 24" OC, with no bottom plate to speak of! In fact, the top plate was even patch-worked together with a number of shorter 2x4's - and there were only four- 18 foot 2x6's that spanned the width to support the frame (collar ties, making one every 5 feet).

The beautiful simplicity in the framing and construction of this simple outbuilding helped it stand strong for almost 110 years - and it was still straight as an arrow! It's quite the testament to what quality materials and true craftsmanship can create, with ease! 

We are so excited to be the stewards in giving this beautiful little barn a whole new life up here in Ferndale, where it can make generations of families happy for another century or more! Just a little hard work, and this adorable piece of history won't be forgotten.

This world is still going through such tragedy on a daily basis - our fellow humans struggling and fighting, hurting and dying, possibly slipping away into a depressing state of apathy and outrage all at once. But in OUR 2022, we were given the blessing of being able to step back and see how blessed we already are, the blessing of reaffirming our unconditional love for one another, and taking joy in what we do every day of our lives. There is nothing that could ever compare. 


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